Clinical trials involving drug and medical devices play a crucial role in the medical community, helping scientists discover new ways to detect, diagnose, and treat a broad array of medical concerns. Despite their obvious benefits, clinical trial recruiters still struggle to recruit participants. This is largely because of several myths that continue to surround clinical trial practices, risks, and benefits. By addressing the participants concerns regarding the myths of clinical research, recruiters and medical professionals can help eliminate their fears and ensure higher participation rates.
Debunking the Myths of Clinical Research
Myth: Clinical Trial Participants Aren’t Treated Fairly
Some participants express concern about the appropriateness of treatment during clinical trials. These participants may worry about serving as “lab rats,” or misunderstanding trial procedures. In reality, participants must provide consent before participating in trials – and trial administrators must follow rigorous guidelines to ensure participants understand exactly what will occur during each step of the trial. Additionally, clinical trial administrators must follow strict rules that ensure the fair and ethical treatment of trial participants. Institutional Review Boards, or IRBs, mandate these rules. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explains that IRBs serve “an important role in the protection of the rights and welfare of human research subjects.”
Myth: Clinical Trials Are Dangerous
Clinical trials involve some level of risk and uncertainty; however, many potential trial participants mistakenly believe that their safety is at great risk during trials. That is not the case. Take, for example, the process through which scientists develop investigational drugs. The FDA explains that these drugs are given to clinical trial participants only after a detailed testing process, which can take years. Additionally, as mentioned above, an IRB reviews all clinical trials before participants are allowed to enroll. IRB review helps protect clinical trial participants before the trial begins. Then, researchers thoroughly assess participant safety once the trial is underway.
Myth: You Can’t Withdraw Once a Trial Is Underway
Some potential trial participants worry that they may find themselves “locked in” during a trial – even if they wish to withdraw after initially volunteering. In reality, participants are free to withdraw at any time. An informed consent process at the beginning of each trial outlines this right. This process helps you understand your rights as a participant, including the right to leave at any time. Participant advocates have studied and optimized informed consent practices for decades, ensuring that participants know their rights throughout the trial process. Finally, if you decide to withdraw from a trial, you will still receive careful care from a medical team, who will continue to monitor you to determine if you experience any adverse effects after withdrawing.
Myth: Clinical Research Is All About the Money
While clinical trial participants are often paid for their service, participant benefits go far beyond finances. First, participants will be monitored by top-notch professionals at high-quality facilities, as well as have access to potentially groundbreaking new treatments. This is an especially powerful benefit for participants suffering from chronic illness, as experimental care may dramatically improve their standard of living. Additionally, clinical trial participants have the psychological benefit of knowing they’ve contributed to medical history. Helping medical professionals discover a lifesaving new cure provides a sense of accomplishment that cannot be put into words, and participants can enjoy this feeling long after they’ve spent any money earned from their participation.
Tearing down the myths of clinical research is no easy task. Fortunately, through detailed participant education and ongoing communication, researchers are destroying these myths one by one.
Have you ever thought about participating in a clinical trial? You could be a part of history! And QPS Missouri is looking for new participants. Since opening its doors in 1994, QPS Missouri has conducted over 1,000 FDA-regulated studies, paying out over $35 million to local participants. Your local participation could have a global impact, as QPS is an international leader in contract research with facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia. Our mission is to accelerate the development of drugs worldwide by enabling breakthroughs in pharmaceutical innovation. This includes several pediatric studies across several age ranges. If you would like to join us in this crucial healthcare mission, consider applying for a clinical trial.
To get started, you simply need to fill out an online application. Within 48 business hours, a recruiting coordinator will contact you for your pre-screening assessment. To learn more, please visit the QPS Missouri website, review the study participation process, or check out our list of frequently asked questions.